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The History of Old Spice

The History of Old Spice

Guest Writer Series |

Old Spice, a brand renowned worldwide for its unique and unmistakable men's grooming products, has a fascinating history spanning over eight decades. From its debut as a fragrance for women to its evolution into a men's grooming powerhouse, Old Spice's journey is one of adaptation, innovation, and marketing genius.

The History of Old Spice

The Early Days: From Sea to Shore

Old Spice was first introduced in 1937 by the Shulton Company, founded by William Lightfoot Schultz. The original Old Spice product was not intended for men at all; it was a fragrance for women. Schultz, inspired by his mother's potpourri, named the fragrance 'Early American Old Spice.' It was intended to capture the essence of colonial times, with its packaging featuring colonial sailing ships, a theme that would become synonymous with the brand.

After the modest success of the women's fragrance, Shulton Company launched Old Spice for Men in 1938. This new product range included shaving soap and aftershave lotion, with the distinct, classic scent we know today. The men's products quickly outpaced the women's line in popularity, solidifying Old Spice as a men's grooming brand.

The Mid-century: Expansion and Evolution

Throughout the mid-20th century, Old Spice expanded its product line and continued to grow in popularity. The brand introduced various products, including shaving creams, body washes, deodorants, and other grooming products. The Old Spice scent, a distinctive mix of citrus, flowers, and vanillin, became a fixture in men's grooming across America and eventually the world.

Acquisition by Procter & Gamble

In 1990, the consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) acquired the Old Spice brand. This marked a new era of growth and innovation for the brand. P&G focused on expanding Old Spice's global reach and modernizing its image to appeal to a younger demographic.

Rebranding and the Man Your Man Could Smell Like

In the late 2000s, Old Spice underwent a significant rebranding campaign. The brand aimed to shed its image as a product for older men and appeal to a new generation. The result was a series of viral marketing campaigns that used humor and absurdity to create buzz.

The most notable campaign was "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like," launched in 2010. It featured actor Isaiah Mustafa delivering hilarious and surreal monologues in a single continuous shot. The ads were a massive success, becoming a cultural phenomenon and significantly boosting Old Spice sales.

Present Day: Consistent Innovation and Expansion

In the years since the successful rebranding, Old Spice has continued to innovate and expand its product range. The brand now offers a variety of scents and grooming products, including body washes, deodorants, antiperspirants, shaving creams, and body sprays.

Moreover, Old Spice has continued to use humor in its advertising, creating memorable campaigns that resonate with their target audience. The brand's marketing strategy remains a case study in successful rebranding and viral advertising.

The history of Old Spice is a testament to adaptability and staying power in the ever-evolving market of personal care products. From its humble beginnings as a women's fragrance to its current status as a global brand for men's grooming products, Old Spice's journey is indeed a compelling story of evolution and innovation. The brand has navigated changing market trends and consumer preferences, consistently emerging at the top, smelling like the man your man could smell like.


Love the product still❤️

Love old spice products,my dad was a fan of the roll on deodorant ,

I think P&G has got it all wrong. O.S. has nothing to do with Old People, the young manly Men who went to war for their country and happened to use and love Old Spice and stayed loyal to the product couldn’t help but to grow old just like all the young people today are going to do. Being loyal to someone or something is a sign of being a Man. P&G should bring back the old look to a fine product that has served this country’s young and old alike. It doesn’t need to be changed or updated at all!! They should give up on the plastic bottles and bring back the milk glass with the Grand Turk and maybe put a young soldier and old soldier side by side on the bottle and thank them for their loyalty or something like that. I think WWII really helped to launch O.S. in the past. and there’s nothing wrong with smelling like your dad or granddad in the first place. young men who learn from old men will be much wiser for it and smell Like a man too!!

michael l baker,

Good 👍


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